Iris after blooming

DebiTinCO(5 CO)June 7, 2006

The blooms on the iris plants are dead, stalks still standing, as is the foliage. [I don't think they bloom more than once in spring.]

Do I have to wait for the stalk to die to cut back? And can I cut back the foliage too? And do I have to wait for that to die as well? It is taking up a lot of room in garden...I would like to slip a few annuals in for color during the summer.

Any insights much appreciated...

Deb

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windwhipped(Z4 WY)

Deb,

Some people do wait til the stalks have died to cut them, but I have always cut them after the bloom has faded with no problems.

Unlike bulbs (tulips, daffs, etc), iris foliage does not die back after bloom. It won't actually die down now until it gets cold. Until then it should be kept standing to help feed the rhizome and keep it healthy and growing.

If you have a lot of foliage in proportion to the amount of blooms, it may be time to dig up and divide your rhizomes. Check out the iris forum FAQ for some good advice on how/when to do this and for general tips on iris care.

Hope your irises put on a good show for you this year, they are among my favorites.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 2:32PM
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DebiTinCO(5 CO)

Thanks WindWhipped! And there is way more foliage than blooms, so I guess a bit of dividing is needed.

This is my first spring/summer in the house, so everyday I have new surprises...seeing what was planted by previous owner.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 7:11PM
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